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The Artillery Men, 1944

Oil on board. Circle of William Roberts, R.A. Monogrammed and dated lower right ‘PC /44’. 

The interplay of well-padded figures engaged in cleaning a Second World War heavy anti-aircraft gun mounted on a solidly constructed brick and concrete emplacement under a wintry sky, chimes with observational scenes of big brooding figures produced during the twenties and thirties by the artist William Roberts - himself a gunner during the First World War.  The scene replayed thousands of times by wartime volunteer and conscript gunners sharply contrasts with the number of occasions in both North Africa and North West Europe when British standard 3.7 AA guns were pressed successfully into ground and anti-tank roles.

© The Armoury of St James's 17 Piccadilly Arcade London SW1Y 6NH